new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Sleeping Snow Monkeys | by Trey Ratcliff
Back to photostream

Sleeping Snow Monkeys

Daily Photo - Sleeping Snow Monkeys

This was not an easy place to find! (The geolocation is not exactly right.... but see below)

 

From JR Tokyo Station, take the JR Shinkansen to Nagano.

From JR Nagano Station, take the Nagano Dentetsu train to Yudanaka. From Yudanaka, take a bus or taxi to Kanbayashi Onsen. From there, it's about a 30 min walk to the Jigokudani Yaen-koen entrance.

 

I've always wanted to come see the wild snow monkeys... and so I just decided to make it happen this trip. Way up in the mountains of Japan, near Nagano, there is a troop of several dozen wild snow monkeys that roam all around a set of mountains. I didn't know if I'd be lucky enough to catch them or not... some say it is hard, and some people say it is easy. But you never really know! I set out to do my best and see what I could find.

 

Towards the very top of the cold mountain, there is a hot spring that churns out super-heated water that smells of sulfur. It fills this little pool and the monkeys come down during the day to lounge about, play, rest, eat, and all kinds of other wonderful things.

 

I spent two days on this mountainside. In the evening, I slept on the floor of a nearby ryokan, which is a traditional Japanese inn. There are about 30+ more stories about things that happened here, including eating crunchy crickets, but I will leave those to accompany future photos.

 

Another New Video Soon!

I just finished editing together a cool video interview I did with Alfie Goodrich here in Japan a few days ago. He has borrowed an awesome medium-format digital camera, and I asked him a bunch of questions about it. I think you will enjoy learning a little about the camera, about Alfie, and about his photography!

 

from Trey Ratcliff at www.stuckincustoms.com

75,814 views
190 faves
40 comments
Taken on April 16, 2010